Company News

Austintown Racino VLT Play Rises $9.6M in March

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Warmer weather in March apparently thawed bettors’ wallets at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, making for its second-biggest month since the racino opened.

Bettors wagered $9.6 million more in March on video lottery terminals at the Austintown racino than in February, and took home $8.4 million more in winnings than the month before, the most recent report shows.

According to the monthly reports, posted Tuesday afternoon on the Ohio Lottery website, credits played on VLTs were $75.1 million, up from $65.5 million in February. In addition, bettors won $66.6 million, up from $58.2 million in February.

The average number of VLTs operating was 865. Win per VLT per day was $298.

Since opening in September, bettors have wagered $473.7 million in credits at Hollywood Gaming and won $420.8 million.

Statewide, credits played were $776.8 million, up more than $100 million from just under $671 million in February.

March historically is a good month for the gambling industry because as the weather gets warmer patrons leave the house more, said Bob Tenenbaum, spokesman for Penn National Gaming Inc., which operates the Austintown racino. The Wyomissing, Pa.-based company continues to be pleased with the racino’s performance, he added.

Bitterly cold temperatures forced the cancelation of live thoroughbred racing at the track three full days and for part of the program one day in February.

“Better weather (with the exception of some severe weather the first weekend of the month) and 31 days of operation versus 28 days in February allowed us to record a significant increase in revenue month over month,” Tenenbaum said in a prepared statement. “In fact, March was our biggest month to date with the exception of October 2014, which was our first full month in operation when we were enjoying the typical opening rush of business.”

Hollywood Gaming’s March performance outpaced that of the Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway month over month, even though the credits played and credits won were higher at Dayton.

In March, the credits played was $79.5 million at the Dayton racino, up $6.4 million from $73.1 million in February. Bettors won $70.7 million in credits, up $5.7 million from just under $65 million in February.

The net win at the Austintown racino – revenues remaining after payout of prizes, and minus promotional play credits – was just above $7.9 million, up from $6.9 million in February. Of the net win, Penn National received $5.3 million as its commission for operating the racino and the Ohio Lottery Commission, which oversees VLT operations in Ohio, took $2.7 million.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.